There is nothing quite exploring and haggling your way through one of Shanghai’s many markets. There is a market for just about everything, and you can often find unusual goods at reasonable prices, especially if you know how to bargain over the price. Here is our rundown on the different markets around town. Take the time to check them out and find just what you’re looking for, or many things you never knew you wanted.
Commodity and Gift Markets
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Located underneath the Science and Technology Museum is this popular tourist destination, also known as The Fake Market (ke ji guan). The northern half of AP Plaza is called Xinyang and here you will find original copies of anything you can imagine. Prepare cash and bargain hard while bearing in mind that most of the quoted prices are at least two to three times higher than what's fair. In addition to knockoff items, there is also a tailor section where you can have a great, but inexpensive suit made with your choice of material, design and color. While high quality may not be a specialty here, there are tons of vendors and if you drive a hard bargain, you can usually score a good deal on the latest trends. The market can be found on Metro Line 2 and is open every day.
See listing for AP Plaza.
Located in the Shanghai Culture Commercial Center this art supplies market is a craft lover’s dream. The second floor has a large variety of art books, and the third has a seemingly never-ending amount of art supplies. Whether you’re looking for high-quality handmade paint or pipe cleaners and play dough, this market has everything you’ll need to get your creative juices flowing.
See listing for Art Supplies Market.
A child’s paradise, this small market is near People’s Square and bursting with the latest knockoff toy cars, Barbies or whatever current toy craze has taken over. The children’s market has a wide selection of clothes, however, be sure to check the size label is correct. There is also a small play area with mini carousels and other small carnival rides that your child can enjoy while you decide which hot wheels car to purchase.
See listing for Children's Market.
Every Friday this market has terrific Middle Eastern cuisine and a few oddball trinkets. While the food is the highlight, there are also peddlers selling various scarves and accessories. Go there to enjoy the baklava and see a whole new side of Shanghai with this relaxed, playful market.
See listing for Muslim Food Market.
The extensive Qipu Lu Clothing Market is not for the faint of heart as it is loud, messy and often crowded. If you can brave the masses, then you will find cheap knockoffs and the occasional quality piece on the higher floors. If you have an idea of what you want and go early on a weekday, then it’s a little more bearable. Piles of clothes are everywhere, and most are inexpensive. As a rule, the higher the floor, the higher the price and quality.
See listing for Qipu Lu Clothing Market.
Tea lovers can rejoice at this large market filled with endless varieties of tea leaves from all over China. It’s good to go with an idea of what you want because it can be an overwhelming experience with so many vendors. Tianshan Tea City is a must visit if you’re a tea connoisseur looking for a new flavor. Located in a Ming and Qing Dynasties style building, this multi-level market contains over 400 shops and stalls. Shops on the first floor sell all kinds of tea leaves and tea products, and if you purchase a larger quantity, you may get a discount. On the second floor, you will see dainty tea sets and the third floor includes antiques, calligraphy and paintings related to tea culture.
See listing for Tianshan Tea City.
This tourist hotspot holds more treasures then firsts meet the eye. Here you'll find a wide selection of tea, scarves, bags and anything else you would need for a great Chinese gift. Be sure to bargain hard though as these vendors are used to talking to tourists and will usually try to upsell their wares. And while you’re in the area, don’t forget to grab some of Shanghai's most famous street food and explore the beauty of Yu Gardens!
See listing for Yu Garden Commodities Market.
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In its heyday, this used to be one of the biggest electronic markets in Shanghai, but now Metro City is known for the large mall next door. A good selection remains, and occasionally you can get a bargain on new goods. They also have a few repair shops that are reputable and conveniently located right outside the Xujiahui Metro station.
See listing for Metro City.
This market has much more than just run of the mill computers and phones with a selection of bizarre and oddball electronics as well as a scattering of random items like yoga balls and bike locks. At Qiujiang Lu, you’ll also find drones and cassette tapes on sale. Go there with an open mind because you never know what you’ll see on any given day.
See listing for Qiujiang Lu Electronics Market.
The large indoor market spans six levels and will surely satisfy any of your photography needs. While bargaining on new cameras is not possible, there are good deals on used cameras. There are also repair services, photography books and plenty of equipment to purchase, making this the go-to place for photography enthusiasts. The center is divided into three sections: A, B and C. On floor A you’ll find cameras, video cameras and other peripheral products such as optics and lighting. Floor B includes most of the popular branded cameras currently on the market. And floor C goes retro; here you'll find 'antique' gadgets, as well as second-hand products and repair services.
See listing for Xing Guang Photography Equipment Center.
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The Embellishment Market is perfect for all sewing lovers. While it’s relatively small, it will have you rummaging through thousands of items such as buttons, rope, lace, zippers, ribbons and tassels. Located on Renmin Lu, adjacent to Yu Garden, the range of fabrics are trendy and regularly updated. On the second and third floors, you’ll find leather products, bags and luggage.
See listing for Embellishment Market.
If you want to spice up your home, the Shanghai Textile Market (Qing Fang Fabric Market) is the place to go for its endless amount of upholstery fabric and bedding. While the quality varies between vendors, getting custom linens and bedding will help you achieve the right look for your home at reasonable prices.
See listing for Qing Fang Fabric Market.
A Shanghai staple, this popular fabric market will have you ordering the perfectly-tailored outfit of your choice. Come prepared with a photo from a magazine or a sketch of what you want to get the best results or peruse the stores to see the latest styles each vendor is selling. These talented tailors can reproduce anything at a great price. Think dresses, suits, pants, skirts and Qipaos made from all different fabrics including leather and cashmere. Scattered around you’ll also find bags, hats, scarves, belts and glasses to accessorize. So, it’s a one-stop place to satisfy all your needs.
See listing for South Bund Fabric Market.
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See listing for Caojiadu Flower Market.
The Hongqiao Plant and Flower market has an extensive range of locally-sourced plants. It's a large market, but one that is easy to navigate around. The outdoor area contains plenty of shrubs and trees, while the indoor section has more unique plants. Be sure to check out the biggest cacti and succulent shop in the market where you’re allowed to make a terrarium.
See listing for Hongqiao Plant & Flower Market.
Depending on the season, this market may have a lot more animals than flowers, but it’s still an exciting scene to check out for market enthusiasts. Often crowded with narrow aisles, this market is quite traditional, and most of the vendors will not speak English. The flower selection can be somewhat unusual, and there’s no guarantee of what plants will be there when you visit. Many shops sell little tortoises and a handful also sell tropical fish. You may even find a crocodile here.
See listing for Yuntai Lu Flower and Bird Market.
Not necessarily a place for practical shopping but indeed an exciting market, the Wan Shang Flower Market sells much more than plants. You'll also find pets and plenty of oddball merchandise, so you’re guaranteed to find something unexpected. While this market may not be the biggest in Shanghai, it does have a wide range of flowers, plants, fish and birds available.
See listing for Wanshang Flower Market.
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3 Yeh Optical City is full of the latest style of frames for every occasion. The prices of lenses will depend on your prescriptions and the quality you want to purchase. Most vendors offer eye exams at their shops. Drive a hard bargain, and you can walk out with an amazing deal on some new frames. You can take care of all your eye care needs here, including contacts and contact solution, prescription glasses and sunglasses.
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The best place in town to grab a pair of affordable frames is this three-story building with hundreds of vendors vying to fulfill your eye care needs. Whether you want a basic frame or an extravagant pair of designer knockoffs, there are a vast range of options which can be filled with most prescriptions. Many stores also perform eye examinations and sell contacts and contact solution .
See listing for International Glasses City.
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This giant warehouse in Minhang is a clean and spacious place to find new lighting to spice up your home. While you can pick up some dramatic spotlights and tacky chandeliers, there are also quality designs if you’re willing to dig around. If you take your time, then you’ll be sure to find a few copies of the latest European designs. The quality here can be better than purchasing online as you can see the products and know what you are buying.
See listing for Haoshijia Lighting Market.
Don’t let the name dissuade you; the Hotel Supplies Market is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for something new for your home, especially the kitchen. With a mix of Western and traditional Chinese cookware along with a special Korean and Japanese section, this market is the perfect place to find a bargain. Clearly labeled and easy to get around, this is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to revamp your kitchen.
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Similar to the Han City Fake Market on Nanjing Xi Lu, this three-story market in Minhang has the usual array of knock-off items (bags, clothes and shoes) in addition to jewelry and pearl vendor. You’ll also find a shop or two selling your standard princess and superhero costumes.
See listing for Hongqiao New World Pearl Market.
The YaDa Pearl Market is located underneath the Science and Technology Museum. After you’ve spent some time at AP Plaza buying all your knock-offs, make your way next door to this well-known jewelry market. Here you’ll find an impressive array of jewelers who are eager to tell you about the quality of their pearls and offer you plenty of gold, silver and jade pieces too. Bargain hard as these jewels may look good, but they may not be built to last. All shop assistants speak English throughout this market.
See listing for Pudong YaDa Pearl Market.
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